Chapter

Gentrification without social mixing in the rapidly urbanising world of Australasia

Edited by Wendy Shaw

in Mixed Communities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424938
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305538 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424938.003.0005
Gentrification without social mixing in the rapidly urbanising world of Australasia

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Social mix strategies in Australia are almost invariably associated with the large-scale regeneration of public housing estates. These redevelopment projects usually occur as public-private partnerships and are funded in part by the sale of new-build private housing at market rates. The first of such schemes to be implemented in Melbourne, Australia, involved the displacement of about 1,000 public tenants and will produce a 50:50 mix of public and private dwellings. The project is not yet complete and the effects of the strategy have not been evaluated. Yet this has not prevented the initiation of at least three more public housing estate redevelopments in Melbourne, all of which will involve displacement, demolition, new construction and selective relocation back to an area ‘regenerated’ through a reduction in public and increase in private housing stock. The chapter argues that notwithstanding the rhetoric of the benefits of social mix, the primary object of this approach is to create new opportunities for private sector investment in high-risk areas in as clear a case of third-wave, state-led gentrification as could be. This approach is contrasted with the rather lower profile, state-wide ‘neighbourhood renewal program’, which involves state and local government investment in services and infrastructure in 19 ‘disadvantaged communities’, including some other public housing estates. The programme has no discourse of social mix, no displacement, regular monitoring and evaluation, and, so far, apparent success and community acceptance.

Keywords: gentrification; social mix; Melbourne regeneration projects; Australia; redevelopment

Chapter.  2855 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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